Students and staff at a high school in Dunkerton, Ia., were shocked when an assembly intended to address drug and bullying issues instead featured anti-gay messages that offended many students, staff and parents, the Lacrosse Tribune reports.
"They told these kids that anyone who was gay was going to die at the age of 42," parent Jennifer Littlefield told the Lacrosse Tribune. "It just blows me away that no one stopped this."
The group also told students that girls who aren't virgins at their weddings will have mud on their dresses, according to the paper.
Junkyard Prophet, the Minnesota-based traveling band that was brought to Dunkerton High School to discuss practices for good decision making, is part of the You Can Run But You Cannot Hide Christian youth ministry that holds assemblies in public schools.
Twin sisters Brandi and Randi Smith, told the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier that, while they consider themselves to be Christian, they don't believe a performance like that should take place at a school -- and that student interaction has changed drastically since the incident.
"The whole school's like way tense," Brandi told the paper. "No one's getting along any more."
Students have since started a petition urging school officials not to allow similar performances in the future, according to the Courier.
Superintendent Jim Stanton told the Lacrosse Tribune that the group received good feedback when they performed at the school in the past, and that they must have changed their message since then.
Stanton told Talking Points Memo that Dunkerton High School now has an "action plan" that will make sure all performers are properly screened before taking the school stage in the future and that counseling is being offered to students who may have felt ostracized by the performance.
“We’ve learned from this,” Stanton told TPM. “It will never happen again.”
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